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April 12th, 2012
David A. Lanning, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Division of Pediatric Surgery, VCU Department of Surgery, and Surgeon-in-Chief, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR), traveled to the Dominican Republic in April to accept the country’s highest civilian honor for his efforts to surgically separate conjoined twins during a 22-hour surgery at CHoR last fall. Dominican Republic president Leonel Fernandez Reyna presented the Order of Christopher Columbus rank of Knight, an honor usually reserved for Dominican citizens or military, at a ceremony at the National Palace. Only a handful of non-civilian foreign-born individuals have received the award, which honors distinguished service to the country or humanity, since it was established in 1937.
Two-year-old twins Maria and Teresa Tapia and their family also attended the ceremony. The girls, who had been joined at the abdomen and shared several organs, were treated by a variety of specialists during their time at CHoR. Dr. Lanning said he accepted the award on behalf of all the individuals who contributed to the girls’ success.
Photo - Dr. David Lanning (second from left), pictured with the Tapia family and Dominican Republic president Leonel Fernandez Reyna, was honored during a ceremony at the Dominican National Palace this spring.Return to Current News >>